Registration of the National Forest Estate
As Scotland moves towards a single system of registration for land and property titles, work progresses on adding all of the National Forest Estate (NFE) to the Land Register. In May 2014 Scottish Ministers requested the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland to complete the Land Register and gave a commitment to ensure that all public land would be registered within 5 years.
The land register is a digital, map-based public record of land ownership in Scotland and replaces the 400-year-old deeds-based General Register of Sasines. Once complete, the Land Register of Scotland will provide a full picture of exactly who owns what across the country.
The land register will be a national asset for Scotland and will make buying and selling property easier, faster and cheaper. It will allow anyone to find out who owns what through an easy online search.
At present 29% of Scotland’s land mass is held on the Land Register, with the remaining parts being held in the ancient Sasine Register. The NFE occupies 9% of Scotland’s total land area, which equates to around 75% of all Scotland’s public land, so its registration is a significant proportion of the overall commitment to complete the registration of all public land.
FES is working closely with Registers of Scotland (RoS) and Harper Macleod Solicitors to develop and progress the Land Registration Project, ensuring that the Voluntary Registration applications for the NFE are prepared and submitted to RoS within the tight timescales.
Karen Francis was appointed as Project Manager at the end of November 2016 and has been building a small team to assist with the complex task of delivering the project on time. Additional full time resource was brought in to the team at the end of July 2017 when Nicola Bain was appointed as Land Registration Assistant. Karen and Nicola have formed good connections with the Area Land Agents and are also linking in with District staff as the ability to access and use local knowledge is crucial to the next stages and overall success of the project.
All NFE property in the County of Peebles and the majority of property in Angus, Caithness and Fife is now with RoS for registration. Good progress is also being made in the submission of applications for the counties of Dumfries, Sutherland and Ross & Cromarty. At the same time application preparation work is underway in other county areas around the country.